Awesome artichoke

While grocery shopping today I ran across jumbo artichokes- and they were humungous and so devine looking! I’ve only ever cooked artichokes once before… I remember the water in the pot ran out and I scorched part of them, lol. That was probably before we were married. Other than that one time and a very dim memory of trying a leaf off of one as a child, I don’t think I’ve ever had cooked fresh artichokes. I love ’em on pasta and in pizza in fancy restaurants but to cook one myself seemed… daunting.
It’s so not.
http://www.elise.com/recipes/archives/000262how_to_cook_and_eat_an_artichoke.php This page explains how to cook and eat an artichoke with lots of photos.
This is what I did:
Place 2 inches of water in very large pot. Heat to a boil with some minced garlic in the water.
Cut off the top of a jumbo artichoke- where once cut, some of the purplish center shows. My artichoke did not have pointy leaves so I didn’t clip them. Cut off stem. Peel all the stringy stuff off the stem and add the articoke top down and the peeled stem to the boiling water. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Steam 40 minutes and then check to see if a large outer leaf pulls off very easily. If not, back in the pot for 10 more minutes and check again. Our artichoke was big enough to require 60 minutes of cooking.
Once cooked, remove from water and set on a plate to cool for 15 minutes to 1/2 an hour. Eat leaves as directed on website- by scraping the insides with your teeth. When you get down to the fluffy hairy part, take a fork and “mow” it off at the base of the hair. The bottom is the artichoke heart and the best part of all! Mmmm!
One jumbo artichoke feeds about 3 adults as an appetizer or side dish. Serve with a dip made from mayonnaise and a little balsamic vinegar- it was awesome (and I hate mayo!)! Forget any dip made with butter!

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